Series: The Outsiders Chronicles #1
Publisher: Self Published on August 12, 2014
Reading Challenges: 2014 Review Pile Reading Challenge, 2014 Standalone Reading Challenge
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Knox Jagger. The name inspires resent in every male at Sinclair University, want in every female, and contempt in Charlie Chase.
Charlie can be summed up in three words: independent, independent, and independent. To Charlie, Knox epitomizes everything that’s wrong with college males: prolific one-night stands, drunken senseless fights, and a body that hints at prioritizing gym time over study time.
As an up-and-coming writer for Sinclair University’s newspaper, Charlie’s tasked with getting to the bottom of who’s been dropping little white pills into girls’ drinks at parties. In an ocean of All-American boys sporting polo shirts and innocent smiles, Knox is the obvious suspect. As evidence piles up against the bad boy of Sinclair, Charlie becomes more and more certain it isn’t Knox. But when her drink is dosed at a party and she wakes up on Knox’s couch the next morning, Charlie’s left with more questions than answers when it comes to Knox Jagger.
How can Charlie ever hope to uncover the truth behind a guy so closed off he’s become . . .
I have adored quite a few of Nicole William’s novels thus far and I knew this one would be the same.
I absolutely adored this novel! It was one of the best that I’ve read in a while. It follows Charlie, up and coming Sinclair news-journalist as she tries to figure out who is dropping date-rape drugs in girl’s drinks. All the evidence points to Knox Jagger, known for his one-night stands and fights. However, after a pill is dropped into Charlie’s cup and Knox saves her, she is convinced that it isn’t him. With more and more evidence pointing towards the hard boy she is starting to fall for, Charlie must come to discover the real truth.
This novel had the perfect mix of suspense, mystery, and drama. There was a total plot twist near the end that kept me gaping. It just can’t articulate how much I enjoyed this book. I read it in one sitting and I was seriously sad when it ended. I loved trying to find out about bad-boy Knox’s past that made him the way he was and I loved watching Charlie try to find out who was committing these crimes. It definitely kept me hooked from beginning to end.
Charlie was the definition of independent. She wore weird shirts to ward off guys and didn’t let anyone objectify her. She was snarky and sarcastic and didn’t take help easily. She stood by her beliefs and had a serious need to find the truth and to help the girls who were being affected by the situation. She definitely was not a character that you could push around, as Knox comes to see. She was a really good heroine, especially because we also saw a hint of vulnerability when she gets drugged and after the fact. It made her more realistic.
Knox was definitely one of those troubled and brooding bad-boy characters with an extremely good heart. He made mistakes in his past that haunted him for years. Despite all those bad things of his past, he was a genuinely good guy. The bad-boy exterior wasn’t as think with him as it is for some bad-boy characters that are written nowadays and I like how we didn’t have to dig to the other side of the world to see it.
The romance was pretty slow-developing. Charlie thought that it was him and then was supposedly proven wrong and then they got handcuffed together and the rest was history. I like how Charlie didn’t throw herself at him like all the other girls in the novel. They worked as partners to get the case solved. And when feelings did develop, they were tentative about it. Knox was…damaged in a way that made the emotional connection that they shared harder for both of them to acknowledge. They were good for each other. Knox cracked some of Charlie’s protective shell and Charlie helped Knox let go of the past. I wish I had the chance to read more of them together.
This novel revolved around a date-rape drug being dropped at college parties. It personally hit close to home as I am about to start my first year in college and we actually had to take a course on it. It made it more real to me and it definitely gave me an awareness that I wouldn’t have had beforehand.
Hard Knox blew me away like all the Nicole Williams novels that I’ve read thus far. An engaging, suspenseful, and drama-filled novel, I couldn’t put it down.